SpaceShip Two down

The right stuff returns. You have to respect the courage of the men flying private test rockets into space:

Virgin Galactic’s suborbital commercial spacecraft SpaceShipTwo has crashed during a test flight in the Mojave Desert about 95 miles north of Los Angeles, according to NBC affiliate KGET. The California Highway Patrol has confirmed that one of the two pilots aboard the vehicle is dead; and the other is in critical condition.


This is how you do it.

Since we’ve been talking about #GamerGate all day today, I thought we ought to actually talk about games too, which makes this the perfect time to post this article about one of the great, and massively underrated game designers, Steve Fawkner.

Fawkner released his first full game, Quest for the Holy Grail,
for the Sinclair Spectrum in 1983. “I didn’t know about publishing or
about how to get a game to the store,” he says. “So what I would do is
go to a gaming convention and take some copies of Quest for the Holy Grail in a snap-lock bag, with some instructions just printed out.”

He gave them away to attendees, free of charge, with a message at the
start and end of the game requesting players send $5 to fund the next
one. He didn’t expect to earn a penny, but Fawkner got 32 checks —
earning $160.

Encouraged by this unexpected success, he developed more games,
building up a mailing list of people who liked his work. He’d send them
games through the mail, and they’d pay another $5 for each title they
enjoyed. “It was extremely, extremely primitive, but it was kind of
pizza and beer money when I was a teen.”

Then one day in early 1989 he finished a game that seemed too good to
give away, either in snap-lock bags or through snail mail to his small
list of previous customers. Warlords combined two games Fawkner had been playing at the time: a strategy video game called Empire,
by White Wolf Productions co-founder and former Space Shuttle Program
flight designer Mark Baldwin, and a board game by TSR called Dragons of Glory.
A turn-based affair, it put you in charge of one or more clans — each
possessing heroes and citadels and soldiers — and asked you conquer at
least two-thirds of the map.

Fawkner thought maybe he could sell Warlords commercially.
“I sent it around to a few publishers,” he says, “and just got told no.
They weren’t interested in a game that was 90 percent finished by
someone they’d never heard of.” He also sent it to distributors, unaware
of the difference between the two. “They certainly weren’t interested
in something that didn’t come shrink-wrapped in a box.”

Almost ready to give up, Fawkner chased one last lead: Strategic
Studies Group (SSG) in Sydney. “They do strategy games,” he remembers a
friend saying. “OK, they’re tanks and planes and military kind of
strategy, but why don’t you send it to them?” Fawkner shipped a copy
off, and initially heard no response.

“Six weeks later, I got a phone call,” he recalls. SSG co-founder Ian
Trout confessed that his company had thrown the game out because it had
knights and dragons in it, but they gave it another look after his son,
Alex Shore, found the Warlords disk and dug in. “I owe Alex a
huge debt of gratitude for actually finding my game in the garbage and
playing it,” Fawkner says. “Because SSG published it. It reviewed really
well, sold I think tens or hundreds of thousands of units and did very
nicely.”

Steve’s a modest man. Warlords was also CGW’s 1991 Game of the Year. It’s still such a good game that Ender still plays it from time to time when he isn’t playing Fantasy General or Civ5. Warlords 2 was even better, although I thought 3 and 4 lost a bit of the plot, being too influenced by the newfound popularity of the RTS genre.

But then to come back with Puzzle Quest, which started the whole Puzzle RPG craze, was simply amazing. Anyhow, notice that not only did no one ever welcome to the industry with encouragement and snuggles, but despite the massive respect with which he is regarded by veterans throughout the industry, he still has to scratch and claw to find the money to make the games he wants to make.

I still have my original boxes, manuals, and disks for Warlords here in my library, an honor I convey on only the very best classic games.



Mailvox: DISQUALIFY!

They just never stop. Which is fine, the important thing to keep in mind is that they never stop lying. A comment from Judge Judy & Executioner:

Vox; your late latching on to #gg and insistence on establishing yourself as a cheerleader despite the fact that the main #gg either didn’t know who you are or if the did, didn’t want you, has made me realize your sigmaness is less about being an alpha with no interest in playing the game and more about being a gamma who’s figured out how to.

Maybe that analysis is wrong, but this who thing has been very gammay of you

This is interesting because it not only demonstrates the usual SJW dishonesty and inability to understand the other side, but also shows how #GamerGate is now perceived as having status that must be denied to opponents deemed dangerous.

As to the “late latching on to #gg”, I merely note the obvious:

  • On August 20th, Vox Day posted Another Purge? about the purging of 4chan and wrote: “My purging from SFWA was, as I warned at the time, a small harbinger of
    much bigger things to come. Don’t think you’re safe simply because
    you’re not controversial. It’s not only the controversy they hate, or
    even the open resistance, it is the mere fact of failing to kowtow to
    their dogma.”
  • On August 21st, Vox Day posted “Kotaku and the Quinnspiracy”
  • On August 27th, Vox Day posted “A female dev on the Quinn debacle”.
  • On August 27th, actor Adam Baldwin posted a tweet linking to Internet Aristocrat videos along with the hashtag #GamerGate. 

Also, gammas don’t turn into sigmas. It is omegas that do so. The gamma mindset can never transform to the degree required; they care too deeply about the social order.


Probing for weakness

Here is a good example of an SJW sally on Twitter. Notice that it is absolutely rife with dishonesty, false pretenses, and attempts to DISQUALIFY from start to finish:

Brosephus Aurelius @Brobuntu
but what the fuck is a pink shirt

Vox Day
A subset of SJWs. (link to Roosh’s article)

Brosephus Aurelius
wait isnt Roosh that PUA sex tourist guide guy that offended a good chunk of europe with his books?

Vox Day
Straight to DISQUALIFY. Textbook SJW. Well done.

Brosephus Aurelius
I’m not disqualifying his opinion, just checking if you knew his past public exposure before linking. I’m still reading the link

Vox Day
Roosh has not offended most of us who live here in Europe. I know exactly who he is. And I don’t subscribe to the Genetic Fallacy.

Brosephus Aurelius
hey there’s not a single mention of pink anything in that link, so I’m confused as to how it ties into my question

Vox Day
Perhaps this will help you: (link to my response to Roosh’s article.)

Brosephus Aurelius
wait so you personally made up this word and it’s definition, then expect everyone to keep up with it by default?

Vox Day
I don’t have any expectation of you at all. I don’t care what you do, say, or think. Accept or reject, as you see fit.

Brosephus Aurelius
well this is a pretty vast conspiracy put forth, I’m going to need somewhat of a more rigorous source than a few people’s blog posts

Brosephus Aurelius
especially when you’re making an implicit appeal to ethos without any visible standing in that regard, as you’re anonymous

Vox Day
My “visible standing” is 1.5 million monthly pageviews. Accept or reject, as you see fit. Not my concern.

The object, obviously, is to create a rift between us that he can exploit; the rabbit is dangling the opportunity for me to win his approval by denouncing Roosh, which he will then immediately turn into a weapon to use against Roosh. This is the “Divide and Denounce” tactic. My favorite part is where he attempts to deny that he’s trying to disqualify Roosh and claims he’s merely “checking if you knew his past public exposure before linking”. As you do, I suppose. But his language gives him away even in the denial; he says “I’m not disqualifying” rather than “I’m not trying to disqualify”, which tells us that he assumes that his opinion is sufficient to disqualify someone. This is a key SJW trait.

The correct response to “Divide and Denounce” is to refuse to denounce or otherwise separate yourself from the target they are attempting to isolate, no matter who the target is or what they are supposed to have done. (#GamerGate, in general, has done a stellar job of this, it is one of the things that makes it antifragile.) So, it’s no surprise that when I refuse to rise to the bait, he then proceeds to attempt to disqualify BOTH Roosh and me, because he’s going to need “somewhat of a more rigorous source” than our blog posts. Quelle surprise! This is the “Pose as a Moderate Who Finds the Evidence Unconvincing” tactic, which is, of course, simply a variant of their primary tactic, DISQUALIFY.  We see it utilized every election season with all those fake “Republicans who have always voted for Republicans in the past, but this year, Romney/McCain/Bush/Dole is simply too extreme”.

And notice how when I simply kept answering him in a straightforward manner that clearly indicated I did not care what he did, thought, or said, he dropped the moderate pose and retreated to snarking about Roosh’s article. (It’s remarkable how SJWs are always “laughing”. They must be very jolly people indeed.) If, on the other hand, I had showed any weakness, taken the bait to separate myself from Roosh, or accepted him as a legitimate judge as to my standing as a source, he would have immediately pressed that point.

One reason for SJW success is that they operate on a mixed 2GW/3GW model, 2GW firepower/attrition on the larger scale combined with 3GW maneuver by their fanatics. But, as we know, 4GW trumps both. In any event, the mention of Roosh led another SJW to leap in and attempt to DISQUALIFY him, at which point a modest degree of hilarity ensued.

James Mathurin @jameswiseson
@Brobuntu @voxday Don’t forget he’s also an admitted rapist.

Vox Day
No, that’s John “I’m a rapist” @scalzi. You can even hear him admit it here: (link to MP3)

James Mathurin
Nah, it’s Roosh.

Vox Day
That’s a direct quote from 25 October 2012. You literally can’t get any more “self-admitted rapist” than that.

James Mathurin
At some point, will you explain why you think I care? I was talking about Roosh V being an admitted rapist.

Vox Day
You’ve provided no evidence at all. I’ve provided conclusive proof that John Scalzi is a self-admitted rapist.

Vox Day
So, you are actually saying that you don’t care that John Scalzi is a self-admitted rapist. Wow just wow.

Brosephus Aurelius
11/10 wizard tier trolling

This is another point to notice. SJWs are shameless hypocrites. They will completely ignore the very same charges that they hurl – in this case, a knowingly false charge against Roosh for “violating” a U.S. state’s age of consent law in a country with a lower age of consent – against their targets if those charges are directed at them or someone they consider to be on their side. While you can easily expose their hypocrisy in the eyes of others, being exposed won’t even slow them down, so don’t hang your hat on it.

Notice that I am expected to care about his undocumented claim that someone he is attacking is “an admitted rapist”, but he is not expected to care about my documented proof that someone else is a “self-admitted rapist”, which is exactly what Roosh describes in the article the SJWs are trying to DISQUALIFY: “SJW’s do not believe in objectivity. Instead, speech and ideas must be
viewed relatively depending on the source and its intended audience…. SJW’s have started labeling men as rapists based on anonymous internet
allegations, even when the supposed victims never reported the crime to
police.” 

You have to admit, he certainly called that one correctly.


SJWs and the mask of sanity

Roosh wrote a very important column delving into what Social Justice Warriors are, what they do, and how they go about doing it:

Social justice warriors believe in an extreme left-wing ideology that combines feminism, progressivism, and political correctness into a totalitarian system that attempts to censor speech and promote fringe lifestyles while actively discriminating against men, particularly white men. They are the internet activist arm of Western progressivism that acts as a vigilante group to ensure compliance and homogeny of far left thought.

The true definition of SJW is up for debate, but most generally it has become a catch-all term that describes feminists and liberals who actively try to solve the perceived social injustices of modern society by organizing in online communities to disseminate propaganda, censor speech, and punish individuals by getting them terminated from their employment. They have also been successful at positioning themselves in the upper echelons of universities, media organizations, and tech companies….

SJW tactics evolved by necessity to keep their ideology alive in a modern climate where science—even 100-year-old science—contradicts the bulk of their ideas.

For example, a basic tenet of SJW thought is that there is no difference between men and women besides their physical bodies, that evolution stopped at the neck for human beings and gave both sexes an identical brain. Human biology can not sustain this notion [1] [2] [3], so when a person tries to state that men and women are different to a large audience, the SJW does one of three things:

(1) Attempts to censor the speech through mob action
(2) Calls the person a misogynist who hates women to inoculate the general population from considering the accurate information presented
(3) Destroys the livelihood of the person by contacting his employer so that he is less able to exercise his free speech

You’ll often encounter SJW debate tactics trying to use consensus to persuade you: “How can you think X when so many people think Y?” As you may already know, consensus is a poor judge of facts or morality.

Readers here know the SJWs as “pinkshirts” and “rabbits”, although if one wants to get more specific, the SF/F pinkshirts are a subset of SJWs and SJWs are a subset of rabbits aka r/selected. The important thing for those of us on the political right to keep in mind is that SJW!=leftist. SJW is an extreme subset of leftism, as Roosh points out, an extreme subset, and it is possible to ally with the leftists they are every bit as inclined to attack on a tactical basis from time to time. Just as the Bolsheviks wiped out the Mensheviks and NASDAP put the KPD in concentration camps, the extreme Left engages in internecine combat as readily as inter-ideological conflict.

It’s a long post, but a very good one. Read the whole thing. You will recognize most of the strategies and tactics he describes as what we’ve seen in the SFWA purging, the Eich affair, and in the comments here when the SJW trolls run through their usual routines.

The most important thing to take away from it is to understand the complete impossibility of compromise or even discourse with them. They do not engage in rational debate because they are not rational and they do not engage in honest discourse because they do not believe in objective truth. They can only be a) ignored, or b) destroyed. Since we’re not permitted to hunt them down like the worthless parasites they are yet (give it another 20 years), the current solution is implacable opposition, rhetorical dismissal, and a complete rejection of their wheedling attempts at entryism.

Every apology or attempt to find common ground will be viewed as a display of weakness and attacked. This is why it is important to ignore the well-meaning moderates, who simply do not understand with what they are dealing and will unwisely attempt to give the SJWs the very entry points they are seeking. Don’t argue with the moderates, just let them speak their piece, nod and smile, and completely ignore their self-defeating advice.

They inevitably attempt to sell their irrationality beneath a mask of seeming reason and common sense. Because they are intrinsically parasitical, they need to obtain acquiescence, if not full mental buy-in, from people in the organizations they are invading. They seek submission, eventually, but they will settle for tolerance. The pattern is clear: Step one: tolerance. Step two: compliance. Step Three: submission.

Therefore, the correct answer is always no. “Wouldn’t it only make sense if….” No. “Can’t we just….” No. “Wouldn’t it be fair to….” No. “You have to admit….” No. “If you would just apologize…” No.

“No” strips the mask of sanity from their faces and reveals the angry, shrieking madness underneath. Never forget, they cannot win without your compliance. So do not, under ANY circumstances, comply.


#GamerGate is dead. Also, defeated.

If pinkshirts were doctors, they’d be following the patient down the hall, past the admissions desk, and out the front door of the hospital, all the while shouting “Time of death is 8:42! Hey, slow down… time of death is 8:43!”

And this idiotic claim is downright hilarious: Female PC gamers outnumber male ones, and attributing that to the rise of casual gaming “is empirically false.”

It’s impressive. That may be the single dumbest article on games I have ever read.


Although this tweet from MTV News is amusing: “#Gamergate suffers an ultimate defeat with Anita Sarkeesian’s appearance on #ColbertReport”

Not just dead and defeated, but ULTIMATE defeated!


Fifth Frontier War prelude

Ender is finally satisfied with his modifications to my VASSAL module so we commenced with the setup and are ready to begin. I’m the Imperium, in red, and Ender is the Zhodani, in blue. Ender was openly contemptuous of my setup, but his confidence was a little shaken after my observation concerning the way in which my ASL style has more than a little in common with the approach recommended by the Maneuver Warfare Handbook, namely these two points from Chapter One:

Maneuver
warfare means you will not only accept confusion and disorder and
operate successfully within it, through decentralization, you will
also generate confusion and disorder. The “reconnaissance pull”
(see Chapters II and III) tactics of the German Blitzkrieg were
inherently disorderly. Higher headquarters could neither direct nor
predict the exact path of the advance. But the multitude of German
reconnaissance thrusts generated massive confusion among the French
in 1940. Each was reported as a new attack. The Germans seemed to be
everywhere, and the French, whose system demanded certainty before
making any decisions, were paralyzed…..
Instead
of a checklist or a cookbook, maneuver warfare requires commanders
who can sense more than they can see, who understand the opponent’s
strengths and weaknesses and their own, and who can find the enemy’s
critical weaknesses in a specific situation (which is seldom easy).
They must be able to create multiple threats and keep the enemy
uncertain as to which is real. They must be able to see their options
in the situation before them, constantly create new options, and
shift rapidly among options as the situation develops.

Anyhow, this setup should definitely keep the enemy uncertain and cause an amount of confusion, because beyond setting up a doomed Schwerpunkt at Jewell and fortifying Regina, I don’t even have a plan. No matter what he guesses, he’ll be wrong!

However, unlike the generals firmly stuck in 2GW, Ender has an open mind. When I mentioned the similarity between my style and 3GW (he’s read ON WAR so he is up on the post-Westphalian generations), he commented: “Yeah, when you set up you just throw your counters all over the place and I have no idea what you’re even trying to do. Then they run around like their pants are on fire until you spot a problem and go after it. Maybe that’s why I’ve lost about the last 15 games.”

This quote, in a nutshell, essentially summarizes my tactical perspective, in both wargames and life: “The defense thus assumed a very aggressive and potentially offensive character.”

Polio-like paralysis

I understand that the CDC probably believes that it is theoretically impossible, but I would like to see some indication that these reports of “polio-like symptoms” are not symptoms of actual polio:

More than 50 children in 23 states have had mysterious episodes of paralysis to their arms or legs, according to data gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The cause is not known, although some doctors suspect the cases may be linked to infection with enterovirus 68, a respiratory virus that has sickened thousands of children in recent months.

Concerned by a cluster of cases in Colorado, the C.D.C. last month asked doctors and state health officials nationwide to begin compiling detailed reports about cases of unusual limb weakness in children. Experts convened by the agency plan next week to release interim guidelines on managing the condition.

That so many children have had full or partial paralysis in a short period is unusual, but officials said that the cases seemed to be extremely rare.

One would assume that researchers have tested the children for polio even if the coverage never seems to mention it. But if they haven’t done so yet, they might want to be sure that this isn’t an unexpected side-effect of the polio vaccine combined with another risk factor or two. Simple logic would suggest that if children are experiencing “polio-like symptoms”, ruling out polio would be the first order of business.

Perhaps they have, certainly one hopes they have. But far too often, one sees people trusting their assumptions rather than testing them.


A throwback

Spacebunny posted this on Twitter for Throwback Thursday. As you can see, my connection to the USMC is not exactly of the intellectual, mutually respectful sort that Mr. Lind enjoys. As it turned out, this marked the end of my long-haired mohawk days. Of course, neither of us would dare to mess with “the 6-foot-4 ex-Marine badass” that we are reliably informed many people imagine John Scalzi to be. By John Scalzi.